ESA > Join & Share > Blogs > EO Research and Beyond > An evolution of the RSS concept: The ESA NoR Initiative

EO Research and Beyond


An evolution of the RSS concept: The ESA NoR Initiative

As you are probably aware, after many years of very successful operations supporting Earth Observation (EO) data users, the ESA provided Research and Service Support (RSS) service will stop at the end of June 2021 as such. However, among many others, some support services similar to those currently provided by RSS will be offered via the ESA Network of EO Resources starting from July 2021.


What is the ESA Network of Resources?

The “Bring user to data” paradigm has been one of the key success factors of RSS. The same paradigm is implemented by the Network of Resources as well. In addition, the Network of Resources concept is enriched by the heterogeneity of services offered by various independent providers, while RSS has been operated by a unique industrial team on behalf of ESA. In a sense, the ESA Network of Resources Initiative can be seen as a framework enabling the RSS concept evolution where in principle any provider may offer its solutions to support EO data users. 


Indeed, the Network of Resources (NoR) is an ESA initiative aiming at facilitating the use of cloud environments by EO data users via the NoR Discovery Portal, where providers selected according to stringent criteria defined by ESA expose their cloud-based services in a transparent manner thus enabling quick value proposition comparison. This model should on one hand help users to easily choose the best available solution to their needs, and on the other hand stimulate continuous improvement of the offered services on the providers’ side: in theory it should be a virtuous circle generating value for EO science, industry and society.


About continuity

It is worth to mention that NoR users’ activities could be sponsored by ESA provided that specific criteria are met. In fact, projects with a scientific, development or pre-commercial use may be eligible for full or partial NoR Sponsorship.

Interestingly, some services available via NoR could provide continuity to RSS users who are familiar with customised solutions like the RSS CloudToolbox or ad-hoc processing services like the ones available via G-POD. In particular, as ready-to-use solutions immediately available to EO data users in this transition phase we offer the new G-BOX and P-PRO services via NoR thus embracing the new ESA concept.

User-centred evolution of these and other new services offered via NoR is already foreseen in our roadmap in order to continuously improve performance, efficiency and user experience.


See you in the NoR!


For more information:

Author's email: giancarlo.rivolta@progressivesystems.it

Website: progressivesystems.it